By Joel Hodgdon, Central Midwestern States Coordinator
On May 1, the Oklahoma Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted their annual sporting clays competition and dinner at Quail Ridge Sporting Clays in McLoud.
Caucus members and their guests from the Oklahoma sportsmen’s community, representatives from the Department of Wildlife Conservation, and allied industry representatives joined Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) Senior Director of Midwestern States Chris Horton and Central Midwestern States Coordinator Joel Hodgdon for a round of sporting clays, dinner, and policy discussion.
“I’d like to encourage all hunters, anglers, recreational shooters, and trappers to invite a friend outside and recruit a new sportsman or woman,” said Caucus Co-Chair Senator Mark Allen. “Events like this one provide a great opportunity to participate in one of the activities that make up our outdoor heritage. I was heartened to see a diverse group of marksmen and women on the range.”
Following the sporting clays competition, the group gathered for a dinner prepared by the Oklahoma Farm Bureau team, and discussion of the top policy priorities facing Oklahoma’s sportsmen and women.
Hunters and anglers contributed over $41 million towards conserving Oklahoma’s natural resources in 2017, providing the primary source of conservation funding for the state. Additionally, sportsmen and women in Oklahoma spend more than $4 million per day on their outdoor pursuits, catalyzing an economic ripple effect worth over $2.1 billion.
Event sponsors included the Beer Distributors of Oklahoma, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever, Quail Creek Bank, and Safari Club International – OK Station Chapter. The State Chamber of Oklahoma also supported the event.
CSF’s Chris Horton presenting the House vs Senate trophy to the Senators of the OK Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus following the sporting clays competition.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?